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Letter: Most Minnesotans don't support wolf hunt, so don't have one

To the Editor:

The gray wolf came off the endangered list in January 2012, and at that time the Minnesota wolf population had been stable for 10 years under federal protection. Regarding a future recreational hunting season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s proposal at that time was a five-year hold after federal delisting.

In spite of that, the DNR did not follow its own plan, and a recreational hunt was held in 2012. Recreational killing has exceeded target levels established by the DNR, with 1,083 Minnesota wolves killed in two years, a precipitous drop in wolf population.

This, in spite of the fact that a Minnesota DNR survey showed that 79 percent of respondents do not want wolves to be hunted for trophy.

In addition to recreational trapping, snaring and shooting, wolves die from other causes, including territorial battles with other wolves, disease, starvation. A wolf predating on livestock can be shot.

The extreme temperatures and heavy snowfalls of this past winter that have been hard for you and me have also been hard on wildlife, including wolves. So, in addition to 1,083 wolves that have died during a two-year hunting season, additional numbers of wolves have been lost as well.

I urge our legislators to support reinstating the suspension of the wolf hunt. I urge you to let them know you support this action.  

The gray wolf in Minnesota is a very important part of the ecosystem, and the killing of these beautiful animals for sport is cruel and irresponsible. It is important to stop now and assess if a hunting and trapping season will allow a sustainable wolf population, and weigh the effects this may have on the environment. In nature, everything has a balance.

As Minnesotans, we value wilderness as well as farming, business and industry. But we must not lose wild places and the creatures who inhabit them, for when they are gone, they are gone forever.